Psychological Self-Help

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positive labels...strengths that describe you... Capable...
Caring... Sensitive... Good... Willing to help... Able to learn...
(add other major strengths you have and/or want to develop
Now, stand back from the board and think of these positive
traits. (pause) I am a good person... I'm fine. I am proud of
myself. I am able, I have some talents. People see me as a
good person. I feel comfortable interacting with people, I am as
good as they are. I share my ideas and experiences with
others. They are interested in me. I am positive and pleasant to
be around, tactfully asserting myself, self-assured, and looking
for ways to help others. I say to myself, 'I can handle this,' 'I
look nice,' 'I have lots of energy,' 'I am unique, like a
snowflake,' 'I'm in charge'... 
I fill my mind with these positive ideas, I look for my good
points, I pursue my goals, I see my life as a wonderful
Write your own instructions for any desired change, e.g. if you
are not motivated at work or at school, write self-suggestions
about being able to change, becoming a successful person,
deciding on your major goal and putting minor goals aside,
seeing the importance of the goal and the wonderful possible
outcomes, having the drive and determination to succeed,
imagining yourself resolutely plodding on day after day, dream
of the eventual success and the fantastic consequences for you
and others around you (see method #7 for increasing
Lazarus (1977) reports using unpleasant fantasies to reduce
unwanted feelings and behaviors (much like covert sensitization in
chapter 11). He asks the compulsive person or cigarette smoker to
imagine the awful consequences and stress of continuing the behavior.
Similarly, he had a physician, who often gave women unnecessary
vaginal exams, imagine getting arrested, losing his practice, and
people in the community thinking he was a "sick pervert" or
"dangerous man." The doctor quickly gained more self-control or will
power. Note, however, that it is not a good idea to tell yourself that
chocolate will taste awful if you are a chocolate addict, because you
won't believe it. Hypnotic suggestions must be believable, e.g.
chocolate will make you fat. 
Fanning (1988) and Alman & Lambrou (1991) give much longer
and more detailed visualizations in each of these problem areas. That
may help you. Also, keep in mind that there are many specialized self-
hypnosis tapes available for $20.00 to $40.00 (Simpkins & Simpkins,
1991). In most cases, though, your own personalized tape will be
STEP FOUR: Get prepared and have the experience daily.
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